Five myths of communication in the workplace

Communication myths in the workplace

Why is good communication so important?

One of the most important aspects of management is to communicate regularly and effectively with employees. There are many views on what effective communication is and the effect it has on employees. This will be determined mainly by the management style practised within the organization.

Being led down the wrong communication channel is easy if you believe in history and the myths that were created.

Myth 1

Communication from management is the final word and there is no feedback channel needed. In other words "When the boss speaks, don't ask questions, just listen". This is old school and in today's labour market and overly politically correct conditions is not a viable attitude to apply. This will normally lead to an unmotivated, unproductive and nonparticipating labour force.

 Myth 2

Communication must take time in order to get the message over clearly. So many managers set up work forums, meetings and committees to communicate trivial matters. This is a time waster and a lack of communication skills on the part of management. Simple matters are clearer in short communication spells with who it is intended for. 

Myth 3

Employees were employed to do and not think. Unfortunately for followers of this direction time has proven that the most successful organizations in the world consist of employees who are allowed to be innovative and communicate this freely to top management.

Myth 4

Unskilled labour cannot communicate at a management level. Unskilled does not always mean uneducated. It is the responsibility of management to communicate at all levels in the organization or it is them who become unskilled.

Myth 5

If it's not in writing it was not communicated effectively. In the time where the in term is "paperless environment," it is a shame that there is still management structures who do not believe in the power of common communication. Putting spoken word into writing is a sign of no confidence in the ability to encourage positive outcomes from normal communication.

Communication should be effective enough to extract the outcome intended from employees and unless the measurement is required for feedback there is no need to put it into writing.

The bottom line is to believe in the type of communication that works for your organization and refine it.

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